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French Toast with Candied Pecans

What do you love most about French toast? Is it that rich, creamy taste when you bite into it? Maybe that slight crunch from it being toasted on a griddle or in the oven? If its neither of those then it HAS to be the sweet taste of carmelized sugar. For me, it’s all of the above but I have a secret ingredient that throws it over the top. One that will make you sit back in wonder and think to yourself why haven’t I had this before?? It’s the candied pecans with a hint of coffee and yes, you CAN have dessert in the morning.

Ingredients:

– 1 loaf brioche bread

– 6 eggs

– 1 1/2 cups of half and half *substitute with whole milk for a healthier option

– 1 tbsp vanilla

– 4 tbsp freshly brewed coffee

– Pinch of salt

– 5 tbsp dark brown sugar

– 5 tbsp butter

– 3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

– Powdered sugar for garnishing

Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, vanilla, 2 tbsp of coffee and a pinch of salt. Take the brioche bread and cut it into 3/4″ thick slices. Turn on the stove to medium and add 2 tbsp of butter to a non stick skillet. While this warms up, begin to dip the slices of bread in the batter 2 at a time. Make sure you flip the bread over to ensure that both sides are well coated. Place the coated bread slices on the skillet and cook on each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Continue dipping the bread in the batter and cooking on the skillet. Once all the bread slices have been cooked arrange them on a platter or a dish.

Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter coffee in the skillet. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of coffee, and the brown sugar and pecans. Cook until the mixture has the consistency of syrup and is dark brown. Pour this over the french toast. Garnish with powdered sugar that has been run through a sifter.

Dress to impress tip – use a cake platter to serve this. The height will make this stand out as a main dish and gives you the opportunity to be a little artistic with your presentation. My favorite way to serve this is to arrange the slices in a circle and drizzle the syrup/powdered sugar on top. You’ll be left with some room in the middle that you can also use to decorate the platter by adding things like fresh fruit or acorns, but I like to take make this a simple presentation where the focus is on the french toast itself.

Hostess with the mostess tip – if you’re serving this dish for a group of people you can save some time by baking this instead of individually cooking each slice. To do this, pre-heat your oven to 375. Arrange the dipped slices of bread in a greased baking dish and pour any remaining batter over the bread. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping the slices over halfway through. You’ll get the same taste and this will give you some extra time to focus on making all the other dishes for your spectacular morning brunch 😉

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